Meet Lori Bistis. She is a Deals Director specializing in operational due diligence, integration, and separation management for clients in the entertainment & media, communications, and technology industries. She is a two-time Emmy Award winner, and a proud Buffalo sports fan who grew up playing sports and likes to spend as much time as possible outdoors with her husband Steve, and 2-year-old son Ryan.
Growing up, sports was a big part of Lori’s life: “My mom is originally from Pittsburgh, which is one of the country’s great sports towns, so my inclination towards sports started with how I was raised. During holidays and weekends, my family would always watch games on TV, and I was always encouraged to go outside and be active. I played soccer and softball through my school-age years. Playing softball, I’d actually mimic the “stances” of my favorite players with each at-bat. Sports taught me about work ethic and time management at a young age, since I was always juggling my schedule to balance school and sports. Sports also taught me about teamwork and relationships. Some of my best friends throughout my life are former teammates and I don’t think that is a coincidence.”
Lori started her career in consulting, but her passion for sports led her to take a “break” to work in sports media, where she focused on technology and strategic partnerships for 8 years. It was working in sports media where she was initially exposed to the world of transactions and deals, which made for a seamless transition to PwC: “Once I worked on my first deal, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my career. Making the move to PwC was like coming home again. Having grown up in consulting, it was very exciting to be back and now doing deals in the industries I had experienced first hand and grown to love.”
Few can say that two Emmy Awards decorate their living room, but Lori can. “I always tell people they’re not individually mine; they belong to a greater team. At my former employer, we worked on many projects and shows in contention for Sports Emmy Awards.” What was Lori’s role on these teams? She served as Project Manager aligning technology solutions with Production objectives. “We did some very cool things, like virtual integration of sports video game images into the studio environment to educate viewers about an offensive or defensive strategy.”
Like most parents, finding balance between work and home is important to Lori: “I do think that consulting as an industry has changed a lot since I started my career in 2000. Back then, I would be on the road 5 or 6 days a week and flexibility was challenging. Now years later and working at PwC, we are living in a world where technology has created opportunities for flexibility. Sure I still travel, but have been able to juggle my work and personal commitments with the support of my teams and use of technology. It’s always nice to get home early on a Thursday and be able to spend time with my 2-year-old son. That’s invaluable.”
As a leader, she values relationships built on trust: “Trust is obviously essential in every client relationship, but especially in Deals where things are moving very quickly and the stakes are higher. To create trust, it is important to be transparent; if something goes wrong I believe in working directly with my client to solve that problem head-on. ”
Lori is most inspired by the energy that her teams bring to the table: “The team you have is such a hugely important aspect of what we do in Deals and management consulting in general. It’s important you work well together, trust each other, and at the end of the day, you actually like each other. I always say one of of the unspoken keys to success is to simply “be likable.” My team members inspire me every day. There are so many people at PwC with good energy; they’re willing to learn and do whatever is asked of them. As a coach, I feel inspired to work with them and help them manage their careers.”